The Children Act

The Children Act

DVD - 2018
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Dec 04, 2020

Emma Thompson shines in this interesting tale about work, love, and beliefs.

Aug 21, 2020

This DVD didn't work well on my player and thus I saw about 1/2 of the film - the introduction and the ending. So difficult to rate my interest level in the story.

Dec 05, 2019

This movie can be seen in different light. When the judge visited the teen to determine if he understood that refusing treatment would lead to his slow death, she went beyond evidence gathering. She laughed at his quip and the ice broke. Then she chatted about his guitar, asked him to play the tune just learned, sang the words to it. She inspired a change in the precocious young man. She embodied legal authority as well as social approval, the whisper of something better.
By professional rules, exchanges outside that legal scope may suggest bias, self interest or other compromising motive. Did she want the process and her consideration to seem fairer ? Back in court, she confirmed precedents that the hospital can intervene with transfusions and medications to rescue the underage teen.
This script invested the judge with all the determinism and diminished other characters. It echoed elitist biases about other classes : he plays the guitar, she plays the piano ; she knew the ballad Down by Salley Gardens, he didn't know the poet Yeats ; he is imaginative, she has the power to solve his quandary. Yet responding to another person on an informal level opened fear of professional review. Outside of her role as judge, she felt obliged to do nothing to help him, or she might lose her job.
Was the writer pointing up inadequacy in the system, a mechanism to transfer him to some help ? The movie didn't even look for that remedy. The script stuck to the judge.
The young fellow visited her two more times. Although she listened, she didn't stray outside her profession and class role. When she said goodbye, he kissed her. Her clerk saw it. Professional Review would interpret that as unhealthy interest.
When the young man suffered another bout of leukemia, she visited him again in hospital. Now an adult over 18, he was free to refuse treatment.
Anguished by the “waste”, the judge read his personal letter from that previous year, that he had lost his religion, parents, hope and life. This movie made his death her tragedy.
By constricting the POV, the writer misread other obvious interpretations. Making the lad her walk-on dilemma turned her struggle into self interest and censorship. Events, characters and interpretations were manipulated to support this version.
Now think about other class exclusions in this story and wonder how awkwardly it's blocked.

Nov 13, 2019

Thought provoking!

Nov 05, 2019

Very good actors, but the storyline is very much a downer, chose not to watch it.

Nov 02, 2019

I liked Emma Thompson in this movie. I would watch this again.

Aug 23, 2019

Beauty through moments of regrets. Living not fulfilled by choices or living with consequences of decisions perhaps left unmade.

Art is what makes you pause, ponder and absorb to reflect what beholds you. So is the mastery in this movie piece.

Jul 26, 2019

A dramatic portrayal of the life of a judge.

Jun 22, 2019

A warm, heartfelt story! Well-done and beautifully acted! I really enjoyed this intriguing story and movie!
(The volume was low for some reason, though!)
Make sure to watch the Commentary, well-worth it!
I definitely recommend this movie!

Jun 11, 2019

Another brilliant BBC production. A clever drama that demonstrates some of the life issues that professional women may deal with: marriage, workaholic habits, client/coworker interactions. Also a sneak peak at what a judge for children cases has to deal with. An opportunity to see EmmaT in a serious role (vs comedy) - great job. Always nice to watch STucci. FWhitehead effectively played a confused young adult. The director did a great job moving this drama along despite no battles or car chases. Spoilers ... thought provoking take aways: controversy over blood transfusions, needy spouses, side effects of being a workaholic, how to deal with clients/coworkers who mix professionalism with intimacy, line between professionalism, friendship and intimacy, the benefits of a long separation before getting a divorce, importance of open honest spousal dialog, emotional discussions without the yelling and insults, professionals making hard decisions by employing a human-touch - not blindly following rules in a book. So many layers to this story. Life is not always a bed of roses.

Jun 02, 2019

Great actors, but didn’t want to watch.

May 24, 2019

Laws to protect children from abusive parents were extended to require medical care for minors in these circumstances. Even though it was a life-or-death situation, regardless of how primitive the religious creed, should the government be seen as accepting a burden of emotional responsibility? You might say, “Obviously not,” but this intelligent, uncomfortable film poses the question nicely.

May 22, 2019

Emma Thompson was cast perfectly in the lead role. Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead also great in their parts. Good drama, but had a weak ending in my opinion.

May 16, 2019

Brought up by children's mind, secular restraints can be fatal too.

May 05, 2019

The phenomenal Emma Thompson is reason enough to watch this fine film. All the other main characters are well played, too.

Apr 21, 2019

Found it slow and boring....only watched to the end because I wanted to see what happened otherwise I would have turned it off after the first 15mins

Apr 09, 2019

Disappointing, would have rated it lower if it wasn’t for the high caliber acting especially from Emma Thompson. None of the characters I could warm to and the improbable and somewhat absurd storyline did not flow well, not to my taste at all.

Apr 06, 2019

I simply loved it and watched it three times. Emma Thompson is brilliant!

Mar 20, 2019

I don't know.... The movie left me scratching my head quite as much as the novel did. I watched the movie in the hope it might illuminate the novel for me. It didn't. I found both had a flat affect that made it tough for me to engage with the story. The situations presented in the family court were interesting and compelling - but I couldn't connect with the characters. :o(

Mar 13, 2019

A very compassionate movie that explores the depth of human emotions.

Mar 12, 2019

Emma Thompson is superb.

Feb 22, 2019

Great acting. Story left me wanting for a little more.

Feb 04, 2019

Good movie that explores ethical dilemma's most of us don't even think about.

Jan 29, 2019

What excites me most about this movie, is that it's for adults. It's about people dealing with issues in their lives, in an intelligent manner. The kind of movie, that I feel, does not get made these days.
See the comments below re: the genius of Emma Thompson; and Stanley Tucci; and the script by Ian McEwan, based on his novel.

Very worthwhile.

Jan 28, 2019

A wonderful find. Very powerful and thought provoking. Emma Thompson at her best.

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